Nunavut's share of East coast quota maintained
Northern News Services
Yellowknife (May 28/01) - Canada's fisheries minister has put brakes on explosive growth of the Northern shrimp catch in a fishery that's tripled in the past five years.
Nunavut's quota of seven per cent of the East Coast catch will remain the same this year, at just over 110,000 tonnes. "I want to be sure that we are not increasing fishing effort too quickly," Herb Dhaliwal said in a press release.
"This is a very important fishery ... and we want to keep it that way," he said.
Shrimp stocks seem to be healthy, according to a survey trawls carried out last year by scientists. Fisheries and Oceans Canada even uses the word "abundant," to describe the stocks, but at the same time cautions the survey did not include all areas where shrimp are found.
Qikiqtaaluk Corporation executives did not return phone calls.
The Inuit-owned company holds Nunavut's shrimp licence, which paved the way for an injection of at least $1 million into the territory's economy each year, and the creation of approximately 500 jobs.
Dhaliwal's statement warns that all quotas made available since 1997 are just temporary.
Newfoundland receives 70 per cent of the quota.
On one rich seabed off Newfoundland, the shrimp quota has increased five-fold since 1996.
Twelve per cent of the quota goes to Quebec, with Nova Scotia and New Brunswick each receiving five per cent. The remaining one per cent goes to P.E.I.
Qikiqtaaluk Corporation is one of 17 companies which have a piece of the Northern shrimp fishery.